Having lost her mother at a young age, Sara Leader has created a space around her father Richard that is sacrosanct, their relationship having excluded all others. But now that Sara has decided to adopt a child of her own, she finds herself facing a genealogical blank slate with which to start her new family. Her mother's family was decimated by the Nazis and she knows nothing of her father's pre-war journey out of Europe on the Quanza, a boat full of refugees fleeing the onset of the Holocaust. She also asks him no questions, as this is his one command: to leave the past to the dead.
But as Sara works on her manuscript of the great critic, philosopher, and translator Walter Benjamin's work, details from her father's life start to float into her periphery, and even as she tries not to give in to curiosity they gather and overwhelm her until she is at his door, demanding answers.
In this richly woven telling, Victoria Redel brings equal amounts of poignancy and fortitude to her symbiotic storylines, lending both characters the kind of strength only survivors can embody. For even as she leads Sara about her mission, Redel reveals young Richard's story, told from letters that he writes from the boat to a sympathetic Eleanor Roosevelt. And in a feat of literary excellence, Redel teases these details of Richard's past through Sara's present, deftly dropping them around her and driving her quest for answers at an increasingly hypnotic pace.
"A passionate single mother incubates a frightening obsession for her son in Victoria Redel's daring novel."
"Loverboy is stunningly fine. No novel has rattled me this much since Judith Rossner's Looking for Mr. Goodbar. More Redel, please, and soon."
"Redel is one of the most talented scary writers to come out of musty old Manhattan in the last few decades....Redel is raw, like Rikki Ducornet, like Carole Maso.... She is pure courage, facing squarely, almost formally, simple, ferocious ideas."
Number Of Pages: 304
Published: 13th March 2007
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 21.0 x 14.0 x 3.25
Weight (kg): 0.44
Edition Number: 1